Mary is the day secretary/receptionist at Animators, Inc. Her shift starts at 8 am, and lasts until 6 pm, when the night secretary, Craig, overtakes the post. The job involves taking calls and manning the lobby desk for the visiting customers, as well as keeping track of the appointment book and who is using which office. Mary appears to like being helpful, is almost never in a bad mood, and seems to be good at her job.
We meet Mary for the first time in Guilty Pleasures, and she's a continuous if sporadically mentioned presence at the office throughout the series.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
At the beginning of the series Mary wears her hair short and stiff with a carton of hair spray. Anita muses that Mary isn't into the natural look.
In The Lunatic Cafe it's mentioned that Mary's hair is blond but a little too yellow to be natural.
Later in the series Mary embraces her grandmother status and lets her hair go gray.
History[edit | edit source]
Before the series[edit | edit source]
In The First Death we see Mary at the lobby desk letting Anita know her first client is waiting for her. Bert is chuffed about Anita's recent publicity, and Mary mentions that most of the people who have been calling that day have asked Anita by name, and agrees that 'ick' about covers some of the callers. After the client turns out to be Edward and Anita storms out on him, she informs Mary that he's one of the people who aren't after zombie raising. Mary apologizes and swears that he checked out, and Anita reassures Mary that it's not her fault. Mary promises to send him packing while Anita hurries out of the offices.
We meet Mary briefly when Anita drops by the office unexpectedly outside of her shift. Mary informs Anita that her shared office is currently used by Jamison, whose client has a son who considers joining the Church of Eternal Life. When Anita asks whether Jamison is talking the client into our out of the idea, Mary scolds her, and then informs her there's no client blocking her other business with Bert in the meantime. Later, when Anita has finished all of her business at the office, she finds Phillip in the lobby pretending to be picking her up, and Mary sitting at her desk, chin leaning on her hands, enjoying the show. Mary makes a "hubba-hubba" motion with one hand after Anita unwittingly introduces Phillip as her "friend", which causes Phillip to give Mary a dazzling smile that makes her blush.
Mary answers the phone when Anita calls the office to tell Bert she has to cancel her appointments due police business. Mary lets Anita tell the news herself, only half-joking when saying that if Bert yells it should be at Anita. Mary puts her on hold for a moment while Bert's client is leaving, apparently unaware that Anita would rather listen to the static than Muzak.
This time we see Mary at her desk behind a computer when Anita takes a quick break from her customer in order to see Bert -- something that makes Mary instantly wary. Mary tells Anita that Craig had indeed made her an appointment with Bert, but that Bert had cancelled it. Mary warns Anita that Bert is with a customer, but that doesn't stop her. A bit later Mary is mentioned as someone who sends customers in at the appointed times, and as someone who has the contact information for the customers. A bit later still Mary buzzes Anita through intercom to inform her that Richard is calling.
Towards the end of the book Anita calls the office in a hurry, and interrupts Mary during her greeting. Mary tries to ask if Anita is alright, but doesn't argue when Anita insists on being put through to Bert instead of answering.
We don't see or hear of Mary in this novel, but she's mentioned briefly when Anita is at the office in the morning before Mary's shift starts.